A Fresh Start For Boys’ Basketball

Quinn Padovani, Layout Artist

The 2017-2018 basketball season is officially underway here at Falls Church High School. This year brings in a fresh start coaching-wise to all the basketball programs: freshman, junior varsity, and varsity. The new freshman coach is Latif Abdulalim, the new junior varsity coach is Coach Aaron Kalman, and the new Varsity coach is last year’s freshman coach, Mr. Jim Ryan.
This year at the varsity level, the team is trying to improve upon some of the worst losing seasons the school has ever had in the past couple of years, compiling a total of only three wins the past two seasons. It is also trying to rebound from losing one of the most passionate and dedicated coaches the school had ever had. Coach Derek Gaunt left Falls Church and went to Texas due to his wife receiving a job opportunity there.
When reflecting on Coach Gaunt, Luke Strother (12) said, “Coach Gaunt was a great coach. His passion and dedication to the game, as well as his players, were next level.” But even when losing someone of that level, the team still has to push on.
This year, as usual, FCHS plays against schools in our conference such as Edison and Lee, two very tough opponents who the team is looking forward to facing, but also represent winnable games.
Over the years, Falls Church has not been one the powerhouse programs within the conference. But this year with the fresh coaching look and a dedicated group of seniors, Falls Church is looking to surprise some people, which can be a big advantage while playing the game when you have that underdog mentality. Noah Botts (11) stated that “the fact that Falls Church is considered by most teams as an underdog really poses an advantage to us because teams will overlook us and when it comes to be game time, they will be surprised by how we play.”
Looking ahead, the Jags are currently 3-12 and hope to finish the season strong and have some success in the playoffs.

Noah Botts (11), Taylor Devlin (11), and Dylan Mackey (12) support their teammates in a game.
(Photo by Lifetouch)